Obama praises Boston for overcoming the ‘face of evil’

President Barack Obama praised Bostonians for their actions “in the face of evil” during an interfaith memorial service on Thursday … Continued

President Barack Obama praised Bostonians for their actions “in the face of evil” during an interfaith memorial service on Thursday (April 18) for victims of the Boston Marathon bombing.

“You’ve shown us, Boston, that in the face of evil, Americans will lift up what’s good. In the face of cruelty, we will choose compassion,” Obama said.

The 90-minute service at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross featured local political figures and religious leaders from Christian, Jewish and Islamic traditions. Boston Cardinal Sean O’Malley shared a greeting with the congregants from Pope Francis.

“The Holy Father invokes God’s peace upon our dead, consolation upon the suffering and God’s strength upon all those engaged in the continuing work of relief and response,” O’Malley said.

Obama opened his remarks with Scripture, and quoted it throughout his speech.

“Scripture teaches us,’God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.’ And that’s the spirit you’ve displayed in recent days,” Obama said.

Obama said that for millions of Americans, the attacks on Boston were personal. “Every one of us has been touched by the attack on your beloved city. Every one of us stands with you,” he said.

The president also encouraged those who were injured: “You will walk again,” he said.

“This time next year, on the third Monday in April, the world will return to this great American city to run harder than ever and cheer even louder for the 118th Boston Marathon. Bet on it,” Obama declared to rousing applause.

Two bombs exploded at the Boston Marathon on Monday, killing three people and injuring more than 170. Investigators have identified possible suspects on video footage, but haven’t made any arrests yet.

The service attracted complaints, however, from a local coalition of nonbelievers who said they were not included despite multiple outreach efforts to organizers at the Archdiocese of Boston, the mayor’s office and the governor’s office.

“I wanted to give them the opportunity to be as fully inclusive as possible,” said Zachary Bos, co-chair of the Secular Coalition for Massachusetts, an umbrella group of 14 atheist and humanist groups. “They fumbled it and that leaves me a little baffled.”

Sarah Chandonnet, a staffer at Harvard University’s humanist chaplaincy, said she had two friends who were grievously injured in Monday’s attacks. She felt left out of Thursday’s service.

“I feel that the pain I feel for those close to me, and the city I have lived in my entire life, are not heard or shared,” she said in an email. “I feel excluded, and silenced, because of my identity. I wish more atheists and the nonreligious could feel supported by their city.”

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, Religion News Service LLC.

  • Mainer1776

    Islam is the face of Evil and Mohammed is its Prophet.

Read More Articles

Top 10 Reasons We’re Glad A Catholic Colbert Is Taking Over Letterman’s “Late Show”

How might we love Stephen Colbert as the “Late Show” host? Let us count the ways.

God’s Not Dead? Why the Good News Is Better than That

The resurrection of Jesus is not a matter of private faith — it’s a proclamation for the whole world.

An Untold Story of Bondage to Freedom: Passover 1943

How a foxhole that led to a 77-mile cave system saved the lives of 38 Ukrainian Jews during the Holocaust.

Friend or Foe? Learning from Judas About Friendship with Jesus

We call Judas a betrayer. Jesus called him “friend.”

Fundamentalist Arguments Against Fundamentalism

The all-or-nothing approach to the Bible used by skeptics and fundamentalists alike is flawed.

Mary Magdalene, the Closest Friend of Jesus

She’s been ignored, dismissed, and misunderstood. But the story of Easter makes it clear that Mary was Jesus’ most faithful friend.

The Three Most Surprising Things Jesus Said

Think you know Jesus? Some of his sayings may surprise you.

How to Debate Christians: Five Ways to Behave and Ten Questions to Answer

Advice for atheists taking on Christian critics.

Heaven Hits the Big Screen

How “Heaven is for Real” went from being an unsellable idea to a bestselling book and the inspiration for a Hollywood movie.

This God’s For You: Jesus and the Good News of Beer

How Jesus partied with a purpose.

Jesus, Bunnies, and Colored Eggs: An Explanation of Holy Week and Easter

So, Easter is a one-day celebration of Jesus rising from the dead and turning into a bunny, right? Not exactly.

Dear Evangelicals, Please Reconsider Your Fight Against Gay Rights

A journalist and longtime observer of American religious culture offers some advice to his evangelical friends.